One film that traumatized me for life was DEADLY FRIEND. I saw this film when I was around 6 when my babysitter used to work at a video store and would rent all the horror movies for me to watch. She got me DEADLY FRIEND one day and the scene where Samantha’s having a dream and her dad comes in and starts cussing at her and going crazy like he’s gonna rape her or something, and then she takes a flower vase and sticks it in his eye and he starts laughing and screaming while blood is streaming out of the vase! Of course I love this film now, and it’s one of my faves, but it still kinda freaks me out when I see this scene. Also some other good scenes in the film would be when Elvira Parker (ANNE RAMSEY from THE GOONIES) gets her head blown off by a basketball that Sam threw; when Sam kills her dad in the cellar by burning him; and the ultra close up shots of brain surgery.
There is an episode from the first season of G.I. JOE called “There’s No Place Like Springfield” in which Shipwreck is captured and put under hypnosis in an attempt to get some top secret information out of him. In one part of this dream, Shipwreck watches as some of his fellow G.I. Joe team members literally melt before his eyes! It was this part that just freaked the Hell right out of me. I think I must have come in on the episode halfway, because I didn’t know at the time what was happening in the plot. I never watched another episode of G.I. Joe again, for fear that I might unknowingly stumble across “that” episode.
Unkle Lancifer says: All you critters out there feel free to visit Ryan any time of day at his home turf MOVIES AT MIDNIGHT! And check out this link to the EPISODE IN QUESTION. Ryan ain’t kidding, it’s a real doozy mind-screw that plays like JACOB’S LADDER: THE ANIMATED SERIES. (If MACAULAY CULKIN‘s part was played by a parrot!)
After super computer Proteus (voiced by ROBERT VAUGHAN) and his creator Alex Harris (FRITZ WEAVER) agree to disagree about the ecological risks of ocean mining among other things, Proteus decides to take matters into his own non-hands by highjacking the home of Harris’s estranged wife Susan(JULIE CHRISTIE).Touchy-feely seventies psychology goes head to head with clinical science as these two battle for control of the roost. With the help of an armed wheel chair and absolute power over every electronic device available in the futuristic domicile, Proteus easily gains the upper metalic hand by breaking Susan down PATTY HEARST style. It turns out that the all-knowing computer is not interested in harming his human speciman, but rather wants to impregnate her with his child to achieve imortality. Less famous than its SIMPSONS TREEHOUSE OF HORROR parody, DEMON SEED is an interesting, though far fetched psychedelic ride obvioulsly indebted if not in awe of STANLEY KUBRICK’S masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODDITY. The end results of Proteus’s biological tinkering are amusing at first thanks to some wonky effects work but when the scales are peeled off the new-age golden child, we learn that our domineering databank may have had a heart after all.
- CHRISTIE gets “baked” in her kitchen
- The simulated electric shock doorbell death of a little girl
- GERRIT GRAHAM (PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE) looses his head
- The trippy insemination dream
- Birth of a 14 carrot gold Garbaage Pail Kid
- Dead mom turns into dead dog
- Bumpy moving walls and the hands under the bed
- The parents return evil… “YOU’VE BEEN BAD!“
- Terry falls into the gate, imps attack his leg
- Terry’s made up story about a construction worker being stuck in the wall becomes real
- Giant demon breaks through the living room floor!
- Weapon of choice? Toy rocket!
ROBERT MITCHUM is undeniable in the bad-ass department, but he really meets his match in the slight frame of LILLIAN GISH. There’s something to be said about maternal instincts and the powers that they hold. GISH, although portraying a God-fearing lady, subtlety conveys a “DO NOT FUCK WITH ME, OR THESE CHILDREN!” sentiment with a cock of her eyes upon meeting MITCHUM on her porch. The scene in which she holds an all-night vigil in her rocker with a shotgun, while Powell is outside singing, and she finishes the chorus to the ditty, is the first sign of peace this tense film allows.
- Mrs. Cooper surrounded by the chorus of disembodied kids heads in the opening sequence
- Preacher Powell’s explanation for the tattoos on his hands
- SHELLEY WINTERS’ watery grave scene in the car at the bottom of the lake
- John & Pearl barely escaping Powell on the basement steps (Why isn’t this movie credited for initiating that horror-flick staple?)
- The lynch-mob scene (not unlike those featured on THE SIMPSONS) that forms outside of the courthouse
Years ago when I was younger one of my brothers and a few of his friends were talking about THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and how scary it was. I eventually talked my older brother Dan into letting me watch it…BIG mistake! At the film’s end, I thought “That wasn’t too scary,” but I was dreaming if I thought I would find sleep that night or any night anytime soon. That movie had such a profound effect on me that I was not able to sleep for nearly two weeks. My parents eventually had to take me to a therapist to help me with my insomnia. That movie terrified me so badly, and my brother was in the doghouse for a long time for showing that to me! What scared me so bad is that I thought it was all true and that something like that could happen to me as well. There are not many things that scare me on this planet, but the Devil does. To this day that movie still gives me the creeps!
If you’d like to read Christopher’s take on many of your favorite slasher flicks, check him out over at Unkle Lancifer’s Alma Mater RETRO SLASHERS!
The chowder society, a group of elderly gentlemen played by screen legends FRED ASTAIRE, MELVYN DOUGLAS, DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR. and JOHN HOUSEMAN (THE FOG), gather on occasion to spook each other out with ghost stories. All of its members are beginning to not only have horrific dreams but also vivid visitations from a female spirit. The groups actual function may be for its members to silently commiserate about a dastardly deed they themselves committed long ago. The apparition is apparently feeding off their guilt while seeking vengeance for this unmentionable act. The son of one of its members (ELM STREET 3’s CRAIG WASSON) has hands-on knowledge of the ghost’s vendetta, not only because she killed his twin sibling but because he’s been playing dirty bath tub games with her himself. This movie is a real heartbreaker. It has elements that are absolutely sublime, like it’s gorgeous cinematography, bombastic BERNARD HERMAN-like score, not to mention it’s trump card, an other worldly performance by ALICE KRIGE (SILENT HILL), and yet every time it should be leaping, it frustratingly pulls back on the reigns. Based on PETER STRAUB’S novel, arguably one of the best modern supernatural tales in existence, one expects more. Sadly the script not only bites off more than it can chew but out of exhaustion, settles for gnawing on the plate rather than the meal. Ambiance goes a long way and there are some real chills to be found here, but you do have to wade through several very ineffective scare scenes as well. Sloppy editing, characters leaping toward the camera, and poorly orchestrated prat falls abound. But if loving GHOST STORY is wrong, I don’t want to be right. It’s got some major flaws, but every time I see FAIRBANKS take his fateful walk toward the town bridge through a blanket of all encompassing snow I’m in my happy place. Did I mention the gorgeous matte work of ALBERT WITLOCK is like a gift from God? Maybe when I’m dead I’ll come back to haunt the script writer and editor and I’ll finally feel fulfilled.
- WASSON‘s full frontal skyscraper fall
- When they were younger the chowderheads were so douche-y that one of them had to be played by KEN OLIN
- DICK SMITH’s awesome effects, though sometimes sloppily incorporated, consistently break the tedium
- FRED ASTAIRE carries a blade and he ain’t afraid to use it!
… A movie that traumatized me and put me off scarves to this day… was ISADORA (1968), and stars VANESSA REDGRAVE as the dancer Isadora Duncan. I’ve searched the Internet in vain for that death scene in which Isadora jumps into her convertible, her long flowing scarf getting caught in the rear open-spoked wheel and strangling her as she attempted to drive away. All I remember is VANESSA REDGRAVE’s neck and body stretched into a horrible pose.
I was about five years old when saw this movie. I would like to see it again sometime just to see if that scene is still as freaky as the image that is burned into my memory.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you Laurel for broaching a subject that is on many people’s minds this time of year, SCARF SAFETY! We here at Kindertrauma are old enough to remember the grisly accident that took place at Crawford academy all so many years ago. One of the school’s elite “top ten” was repairing his motorbike when his trademark scarf got tangled in the spokes of it’s wheel and the results were grisly to say the least. So remember kids, by all means DO bundle up against the elements but remember safety first! We want all of you guys to be around on Christmas day when the baby Jesus sings HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
- The abrupt PSYCHO-esque axe murder cuts through the foggy atmosphere like…well, like an axe!
- The sepia soaked flashback that plays like THE BROTHERS QUAY animating the shroud of Turin
- Woronov’s factory cohorts CANDY DARLING and ONDINE appear
- Wine glass shoved in eye
- The shocking, befuddling conclusion
After braining her husband Joseph Christmas Eve with a fireplace poker, Elizabeth (MARY ELLEN TRAINOR) shoos her Santa-obsessed daughter Carrie Ann off to bed, and sets out to dispose of his body in a snow-covered well. While struggling with the hubby’s corpse, Elizabeth encounters an axe-wielding, insane asylum escapee (LARRY DRAKE of DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW fame) dressed in full Santa Claus regalia. With a swift kick to his holiday package, Elizabeth successfully fends off the lunatic, and a suspenseful cat-and-mouse game of naughty-versus-not-so-nice proportions ensues. Directed by ROBERT ZEMECKIS (the then-husband of Ms. TRAINOR), this half-hour episode of the late ‘80s HBO horror staple is a remake of the JOAN COLLINS vignette featured in the 1972 flick TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Although COLLINS leaves some pretty big pumps to fill, TRAINOR earns a well-deserved spot on Santa’s shitlist.
- Elizabeth gives her husband the poker
- Insane Santa climbing the ladder to Carrie Ann’s window
- The Crypt Keeper dressed as Saint Nick (in a word, adorable!)